06/30/2006 11:00PM

Filly's rivals try again


A 14 1/4-length demolition of her competition in the Mystery Jet Stakes has not dissuaded Flirt for Fame's would-be challengers on Monday, as a grab bag of 3-year-old colts, geldings, and fellow fillies line up against her in the $40,000 African Prince Stakes for Massachusetts-bred at Suffolk Downs.

Flirt for Fame powered home in the June 14 Mystery Jet Stakes in one of the more impressive performances by any runner at Suffolk this spring. The victory came on the heels of a loss to Ask Queenie, who is expected to be named New England Horse of the Year on July 17, and signaled that Flirt for Fame might be able to stand up to her as she gets older.

Despite the ease with which Flirt for Fame won, the second-, third-, sixth-, and eighth-place finishers in the Mystery Jet are all back to try her again. Perhaps they are hoping the presence of some males in the field might help them turn the tables.

Flirt for Fame's trainer, Mike Gorham, has bad news for those fillies, however. Gorham will also start the colt Sprinkle of Gold, most recently second to the older rival Reprized Strike in the Rise Jim on June 4, as part of a two-horse entry for owner John D. Murphy. Flirt for Fame will take the low road - breaking from post 1 - while Sprinkle of Gold takes the high road in the six-furlong contest, working from the far outside in post 12.

Riding the Edge hasn't posted the same kind of numbers as either of the Gorham trainees, but his races have been respectable and his connections have won with just about everything else they've started over the last two weeks.

John Rigattieri, who trains Riding the Edge, will give the leg up to Dyn Panell. Together that duo has won an amazing 16 times from 25 starts over the last seven racing days, including a five-win day June 19. The rush of victories propelled Panell to the top of the standings with 30 victories, one ahead of Winston Thompson. Rigattieri is well in front in the trainer standings, leading 34-12 over Marcus Vitali and Bobby Raymond.

The African Prince will be the third race on the holiday weekend card.

* Suffolk will offer $1 preferred parking for Monday's races and $1 hot dogs, pizza slices, and sodas on the Fourth of July program.